When the Astros acquired Ryan Pressly before the 2018 trade deadline from the Twins, they hoped they’d be able to make him even better than he already was.
But the right-hander has exceeded even the loftiest of expectations. With his scoreless eighth inning against the Red Sox on Friday, he has now gone 39 straight appearances without allowing a run in the regular season.
That broke former Red Sox reliever Craig Kimbrel’s previous record of 38 consecutive games.
The Astros saw something in Pressly many other teams didn’t see when they went after him.
Pressly posts some of the highest spin rates in MLB, a trait Houston reportedly covets. When the Astros first signed Collin McHugh in 2013, they did so hoping he was better than the 10.04 ERA he posted with the Mets and Rockies in 2013. All McHugh did in his first season with Houston was win 11 games and post a 2.73 ERA.
The Astros saw a similar opportunity with Pressly – the Texas native pitched well with the Twins and boasted a 3.40 ERA in 51 appearances with the team.
In his first year with Houston, he posted a 0.77 ERA in 26 outings down the stretch. He has built on that success this season, with his ERA sitting at 0.00 through 18 appearances.